Chili Coral - Alcyonium palmatus - Popular Soft Corals The chili coral is nocturnal, spreading its polyps at night. Also called Red Chili coral, Strawberry coral, Cactus, Chili Sponge, Red Finger coral and Devil's Hand coral.
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Chili Coral, Alcyonium palmatus

Picture of Red Chili Coral, Alcyonium palmatus
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Approximate Purchase Size when Inflated
Small 1" to 2", Medium 2" to 4", Large 4" to 5", XLarge 5" to 7"

Description The Chili coral, Alcyonium palmatus is one of the most popular soft corals for the reef tank. It's brilliant red color (somewhat like a tomato or red chili pepper), hits hard with reefers. One of the only corals available to the aquarium trade in a bright red color. Beautiful and manageable in size, Red Chili Coral is a great addition for the reef aquarium hobbyists from beginner to advanced level. Chili Coral is found on the reef slopes or lagoons of the Indo-Pacific region. Water movement is strong in these areas. The Alcyonium species anchors itself to a hard surface in shady regions of reef slopes or lagoons. Chili Coral forms small colonies. The Alcyonium species is nocturnal in its habit and spreads its polyps at night. Also Known as the Strawberry Coral, Chili Cactus Coral, Red Chili Coral, Chili Sponge, Red Finger Soft Coral and Devil's Hand Coral, what ever you hear it called, its a real beauty and pretty simple to keep..

Care Level Easy

Aggressiveness Peaceful

Reef Aquarium Requirements The Chili Coral is a non-photosynthetic soft coral. While hardy and relatively easy to care for, the Chili Coral has very specific needs that require proper attention for it to thrive. An established reef aquarium aquascaped with ample live rock overhangs and ledges provides an ideal environment. The Chili Coral MUST be placed in a shaded area, it will not polyp or do well if it is in the light. Make sure it also gets a medium to strong indirect water flow. Place the Chili Coral underneath live rock overhangs and out of direct bright light to prevent damaging stress. The Chili Coral will not usually fully open in direct water current. Water flow provided by a powerhead or wavemaker directed at the glass or nearby rock is ideal. Though peaceful, the Chili Coral (and other soft corals) should be given ample space between neighboring corals or anemones to accommodate for growth and to make sure they do not get stung.


Diet and Feeding Similar to other non-photosynthetic soft corals the Chili Coral obtains nutrients through active filter feeding. The Chili Coral does not contain symbiotic algae to rely on for food. Therefore, the diet of the Chili Coral must include live or frozen rotifers, baby brine shrimp, prawn eggs, and micro-plankton or foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates. For continued good health, supplement with strontium, iodine, and trace elements

Water Chemistry: For excellent health supplement the Chili coral with strontium, iodine, and trace elements.

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Photos are representative of each species. All marine life will be unique and variations should be expected, color and sizes may vary.